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Dr. Bernard Kwabi-Addo. Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Bernard Kwabi-Addo, Professor (He)


  • Biochemistry
  • College of Medicine
  • Biochemistry


I am a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and also a Principal Investigator of Prostate Cancer Research at Howard University, in Washington D.C. My research interests are: Molecular Biology/ biochemistry: Cancer Health Disparities, Signal Transduction, Gene Expression and Regulation, Epigenetic DNA methylation studies and Prostate Cancer Research. The focus of my current research activity is to elucidate aberrant epigenetic alterations that underlies prostate cancer etiology and the disease progression,  a disease that disproportionately impact men of African Ancestry. The ultimate goal of my research work is to identify novel epigenome-derived markers that can be used either alone or in conjunction with current molecular markers for screening and diagnosing prostate cancer disparity. I am also interested in understanding the social determinants and environmental factors and how these impact the genome to drive not only prostate cancer but cancer in general and cancer disparities. I am a lecturer on various Biochemistry and Molecular Biology topics to medical, dental and graduate students at Howard University. I am an educator on public health concerns on topics such as cancer prevention and the importance of adhering to the recommended age-appropriate screening, the importance of healthy dietary patterns, avoidance of sedentary lifestyle and the adoption of healthy behavior and lifestyle patterns to avoid and even reverse or eliminate chronic diseases.  

Education & Expertise


Molecular Biology

Queen Mary and Westfield College- University of London, UK

Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

University College London- University of London, UK


University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland (UK)


Cancer Research, Health Disparities, Cancer Prevention, Translational Studies, Biomarker Discovery and Development

I am a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a Principal Investigator of Prostate Cancer Research at Howard University Cancer Center. I have expertise in biochemical and molecular biology skills relevant for cancer and health disparities research. The current focus on my research laboratory is to elucidate aberrant global and loci-specific epigenetic alterations associated with aggressive prostate cancer in African American men. The goal of my laboratory is to identify novel epigenetic-based biomarkers for cancer detection and to explore epigenetic alterations in cancer for novel therapeutic angles. 



Molecules and Cells Unit 1- Medical Course for Medical Students.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology courses to Dentistry students

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology courses to graduate students

I give didactic lectures in Blood Coagulation, Hormonal signals, Cancer topics and other lectures in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to Medical, Dental and graduate students. 




Prostate Cancer and Prostate Cancer Disparities research


  1. Role Project PI- Bernard Kwabi-Addo PhD (Southerland W- RCMI Director; PI- Howard University).

Grant Period: 07/01/2019- 06/30/2024

Title: Epigenetic Regulated Genes in African-American Prostate Cancer Patients.

Grant Mechanism: National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities

U54 MD007579 (RCMI).

Group Information

Dr. Krishma Tailor (post-doctoral researcher)

Dr. Mohammad Khan (Senior postdoctoral researcher)



•Epigenetic Biomarkers and Cancer Disparities

Identification of "ethnic sensitive" epigenetic DNA methylation markers for cancer detection. Epigenetic changes can occur early in cancer development, even before clinical symptoms appear. The identification of epigenetic biomarkers in blood or tissue samples has the potential to facilitate early cancer detection and improve patient outcomes.

Related Articles

Complete list of my published work can be found online

1. Smith AJ, De Sousa MA, Kwabi-Addo B, Heppell-Parton A, Impey H, Rabbitts P. A site-directed chromosomal translocation induced in embryonic stem cells by Cre-loxP recombination. Nat. Genet. 1995; 9:376-85.

2. Kwabi-Addo B, Thompson TC, Ittmann M. Absence of PTEN/MMAC1 pseudogene in mice. DNA Cell Biol. 2000; 19: 301-5.

3. Ropiquet F, Giri D, Kwabi-Addo B, Mansukhani A, Ittmann M. Increased expression of fibroblast growth factor 6 in human prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and prostate cancer. Cancer Res. 2000; 60: 4245-50.

4. Ropiquet F, Giri D, Kwabi-Addo B, Schmidt K, Ittmann M. FGF-10 is expressed at low levels in the human prostate. Prostate. 2000; 44:334-8.

5. Kwabi-Addo B*, Ropiquet F, Giri D, Ittmann M. Alternative splicing of fibroblast growth factor receptors in human prostate cancer. Prostate. 2001; 46: 163-72.

6. Kwabi-Addo B, Giri D, Schmidt K, Podsypanina K, Parson R, Greenberg N, Ittmann M. Haploinsufficiency of the Pten tumor suppressor gene promotes prostate cancer progression. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci U.S.A. 2001; 98: 11563-8.

7. Shan L, Chen GL. Chengxi R, Kwabi-Addo B, Epner DE. Methionine restriction selectivity targets thymidylate synthase in prostate cancer cells. Biochemical Pharmacology. 2003; 66:791-800.

8. Polnaszek N, Kwabi-Addo B, Peterson L, Ozen M, Greenberg N, Ortega S, Basilico C, Ittmann M. FGF2 promotes tumor progression in an autochthonous mouse model of prostate cancer. Cancer Res 2003; 63: 5754-5760.

9. Polnaszek N, Kwabi-Addo B, Wang J, Ittmann M. FGF17 is an autocrine prostatatic epithelial growth factor and is upregulated in benign prostatic hyperplasia. Prostate. 2004; 60: 18-24.

10. Kwabi-Addo B*, Wang J, Erdem H, Vaid A, Castro P, Ayala G, Ittmann M.
Sprouty1, an inhibitor of Fibroblast growth factors is downregulated in prostate cancer. Cancer Res. 2004; 64: 4728-35.

11. Kwabi-Addo B*, Ozen M, Ittmann M. The role of fibroblast growth factors and their receptors in prostate cancer. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2004; 11: 709-24.

12. Rosa A.L., Wu Y., Kwabi-Addo B, Coveler K. J., Sutton V. R., Shaffer L. G. Allele-specific methylation of a functional CTCF binding site upstream of MEG3 in the human imprinted domain of 14q32. Chromosome Res. 2005; 13:809-18.

13. Wang J, Luo H, Thompson B, Ren C, Ittmann M, Kwabi-Addo B*. Sprouty4 is a suppressor of tumor cell motility that is methylated in human prostate cancer. Prostate. 2006; 66:613-24.

14. Feng S, Agoulnik IU, Bogatcheva NV, Kamat AA, Kwabi-Addo B, Li R, Ayala G, Ittmann MM, Agoulnik AI. Relaxin promotes prostate cancer progression. Clin Cancer Res. 2007; 13:1695-702

15. Bernard Kwabi-Addo*, Woonbok Chung, Lanlan Shen, Michael Ittmann, Thomas Wheeler, Jaroslav Jelinek and Jean-Pierre J. Issa. Age-Related DNA Methylation Changes in Normal Human Prostate Tissues. Clin Cancer Res. 2007; 13:3796-3802.

16. Chung W, Kwabi-Addo B, Ittmann M, Jelinek J, Shen L, Yu Y, Issa JP.
Identification of novel tumor markers in prostate, colon and breast cancer by unbiased methylation profiling. PLoS ONE. 2008; 3: e2079.

17. Kondo Y, Shen L, Cheng AS, Ahmed S, Boumber Y, Charo C, Yamochi T, Urano T, Furukawa K, Kwabi-Addo B, Gold DL, Sekido Y, Huang TH, Issa JP. Gene silencing in cancer by histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation independent of promoter DNA methylation. Nat Genet. 2008; 40:741-50.

18. Kwabi-Addo B*, Ren C, Ittmann M. DNA methylation and aberrant expression of sprouty1 in human prostate cancer. Epigenetics. 2009; 4: 54-61.

19. Kwabi-Addo B*, Wang S, Chung W, Jelinek J, Patierno SR, Wang BD, Andrawis R, Lee NH, Apprey V, Issa JP, Ittmann M. Identification of differentially methylated genes in normal prostate tissues from African American and Caucasian men. Clin. Cancer Res. 2010; 16:3539-47.

20. Darimipourain M, Wang S, Ittmann M, Kwabi-Addo B. Transcriptional and post- transcriptional regulation of Sprouty1, a Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor in Prostate Cancer. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic diseases. 2011; 14: 279-85.

21. Vaughn MP, Biswal Shinohara D, Castagna N, Hicks JL, Netto G, De Marzo AM, Speed TJ, Reichert ZR, Kwabi-Addo B, Henderson CJ, Wolf CR, Yegnasubramanian S, Nelson WG. Humanizing π-Class Glutathione S- Transferase Regulation in a Mouse Model Alters Liver Toxicity in Response to Acetaminophen Overdose. PLoS ONE. 2011; 6: e25707.

22. Wang S, Dorsey TH, Terunuma A, Kittles RA, Ambs S, Kwabi-Addo B*. Relationship between Tumor DNA Methylation Status and Patient Characteristics in African American and European-American Women with Breast Cancer. PLoS ONE. 2012; 7: e37928.

23. Akinboye ES, Rosen MD, Denmeade SR, Kwabi-Addo B, Bakare O. Design, synthesis and evaluation of pH-dependent hydrolysable emetine analogs as treatment for prostate cancer. J Med Chem. 2012; 55:7450-9.

24. Devaney JM, Funda S, Long J, Taghipour DJ, Tbaishat R, Furbert-Harris P, Wang S, Ittmann M, Kwabi-Addo B*. Identification of Novel DNA Methylation Biomarkers Associated with Human Prostate Cancer and High Grade Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases 2013; 16:292-300.

25. Wing MR, Devaney JM, Joffe MM, Xie D, Feldman HI, Dominic EA, Guzman NJ, Ramezani A, Susztak K, Herman JG, Cope L, Harmon B, Kwabi-Addo B, Go AS, He J, Lash JP, Kusek JW and Raj DS. DNA Methylation Profile Associated with Rapid Decline in Kidney Function: Findings from the CRIC Study. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2014; 29:864-72.

26. Devaney JM, Wang S, Furbert-Harris P, Apprey V, Ittmann M, Wang BD, Olender J, Lee NH, Kwabi-Addo B*. Genome-wide differentially methylated genes in prostate tissues from African American and Caucasian men. Epigenetics 2015; 10(4): 31-28.

27. Akinboye ES, Bamji ZD, Kwabi-Addo B, Ejeh D, Copeland RL, Denmeade SR, Bakare O. Design, synthesis and cytotoxicity studies of dithiocarbamate ester derivatives of emetine in prostate cancer cell lines. Bioorg Med Chem. 2015; 23(17: 5839-45.

28. Sex steroid-induced DNA methylation changes and inflammation response in prostate cancer. Wang S, Clark PA, Davis R, Mumunui S, Kwabi-Addo B* Cytokine 2016; 86: 110-118.

29. Moses-Fynn E, Tang W, Beyene D, Apprey V, Copeland R, Kanaan Y, Kwabi-Addo B*. Correlating Blood-Based DNA Methylation Markers and Prostate Cancer Risk in African American men. PLoS One. 2018 Sep 11;13(9): e0203322.

30. Apprey V, Wang S, Tang W, Kittles RA, Southerland WM, Ittmann M, Kwabi-Addo B*. Association of Genetic Ancestry with DNA Methylation Changes in Prostate Cancer Disparity. Anticancer Res. 2019 Nov;39(11):5861-5866.

31. Songping Wang , Krishma Tailor , Bernard Kwabi-Addo*. Androgen-induced Epigenetic Profiles of Polycomb and Trithorax Genes in Prostate Cancer Cells. Anticancer Res 2020 May;40(5):2559-2565.

32. Scott W Keith, Bernard Kwabi-Addo, Charnita Zeigler-Johnson. Interactions Between Obesity and One-Carbon Metabolism Genes in Predicting Prostate Cancer Outcomes Among White and Black Patients. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. Jan 11, 2021. doi: 10.1007/s40615-020-00958-6. Online ahead of print.

33. Forough Saadatmand, Katherine Gurdziel, Latifa Jackson, Bernard Kwabi-Addo, Douglas Ruden. 2021. DNA Methylation and Exposure to Violence among African American Young Adult Male. Brain, Behavior, & Immunity Health 2021 Mar 29;14:100247. doi: 10.1016/j.bbih.2021.100247

34. Krishma Tailor, Joseph Paul, Somiranjan Ghosh, Namita Kumari, Bernard Kwabi-Addo *. RASAL2 suppresses the proliferative and invasive ability of PC3 prostate cancer cells. Oncotarget. 2021 Dec 21;12(26):2489-2499. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.28158. eCollection 2021 Dec 21. PMID: 34966481

35. Julius S Ngwa , Evaristus Nwulia , Oyonumo Ntekim , Fikru B Bedada , Bernard Kwabi-Addo , Sheeba Nadarajah, Steven Johnson , William M Southerland , John Kwagyan, Thomas O Obisesan. Aerobic Exercise Training-Induced Changes on DNA Methylation in Mild Cognitively Impaired Elderly African Americans: Gene, Exercise, and Memory Study - GEMS-I. Front Mol Neurosci 2022 Jan 17;14:752403. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2021.752403. eCollection 2021.

36. Forough Saadatmand , Muneer Abbas, Victor Apprey, Krishma Tailor, Bernard Kwabi-Addo. Sex differences in saliva-based DNA methylation changes and environmental stressor in young African American adults PLoS One 2022 Sep 6;17(9):e0273717. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0273717. eCollection 2022. PMID: 36067197. PMCID: PMC9447871 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0273717

37. Chad J. Creighton, Flora Zhang, Yiqun Zhang, Patricia Castr, Rong Hu, Md Islam, Somiranjan Ghosh, Michael Ittmann, Bernard Kwabi-Addo. Comparative and integrative analysis of Transcriptomic and Epigenomic-wide DNA Methylation changes in African American Prostate Cancer. Epigenetics 2023, Vol. 18, NO. 1, 2180585© 2023